Giving clients more for their money through innovative software

In our latest newsletter, we are highlighting the outstanding performance of Jonathan Bolbach and Mark LaBell, winners of SSOE’s Founder’s Award. Their accomplishment — developing the AutoNavis software application — met two of the award’s key criteria: delivering exceptional value to clients by saving them time, trouble, and money and implementing an innovation that leads to improved processes and quality. Continue Reading →

Virtual Design & Construction (VDC): Steel

The beginning of a new era in construction project delivery. VDC Steel is an innovative application of SSOE’s virtual design technology that seamlessly integrates steel design, and fabrication, delivering exceptional quality with reduced cost and a compressed schedule. Virtual Design and Construction is not just a new software or tool—it’s an industry-wide shift in the process for delivering construction projects. In fact, VDC has been compared to the shift that took place when digital cameras were first introduced to the photography industry. With our VDC Steel capabilities, SSOE is well positioned to offer our clients the benefits of this new approach to project delivery since it is in an area where we excel; we have been working with steel structures for 65 years, starting with our first project. VDC Steel takes a 3D/BIM model beyond design intent and into the design details, shop drawings, fabrication, and procurement. For example, most are familiar with the benefits of clash detection utilizing a 3D model. However, in a VDC application the clash detection is done using the detailed design—exactly as the project is going to be built, not just the design intent. This results in much more powerful and accurate clash detection. Historically, SSOE has been an industry leader in recognizing the opportunities that result from shedding traditional methods and fully leveraging available technology for the benefit of our clients. This includes our early adoption of 3D / BIM as a tool to reduce inefficiencies and errors in the design process. While BIM has now been widely adopted by both designers and contractors, to-date the intelligence capabilities of the model and efficiencies of utilizing a single model from design through construction have not been fully leveraged. Often, contractors and fabricators must create additional 3D models from the designer’s 2D drawings, which is wasteful and inefficient, and creates more opportunities for errors. VDC is a process change that removes the barriers to using the same intelligent 3D model from design through construction. It reduces the number of handoffs, compresses the schedule, eliminates errors, tightens material quotes, and results in a completed project that is closer to the original design intent. It also improves the ultimate design by revealing issues more generalized drawings miss. VDC Steel is just one piece of the shift being generated by Virtual Design and Construction. We are excited because it’s a piece our clients can leverage to immediately experience significant benefits. Benefits of VDC Steel: Streamlined and seamless integration through one virtual model that produces: Fabricator ready models Approved shop drawings CNC programs Mill order lists Exceptional Quality Advanced clash detection Limited field errors Methodical control from design to construction Reduced Cost Optimized detailing in a virtual environment Accurate bids and estimates Reduction in field change orders Reduced schedule by a minimum of 4 weeks Steel lead times Design and approval process Analysis and options Continue Reading →

Visual Effects — Faster, Better, Cheaper

With technology’s ability to generate high quality graphics on everything from movie screens to smart phones, clients are expecting design concepts to be delivered in impressive graphics—often early in the design phase. In fact, 3D renderings and fly-throughs are effective in many situations. They enable a more thorough review of the facility or campus, help promote the project, support fundraising and groundbreakings, and build consensus within the organization. In addition to being a powerful tool for envisioning the big picture, photo-realistic renderings help users evaluate lighting, color / materials schemes, and understand more clearly the relationships between different areas. Continue Reading →

Manufacturing Automation Magazine Article: “Insights to Capture the Full Benefit of Laser Scanning”

Mark LaBell, BIM / CAD Technical Leader, recently authored an article on laser scanning featured in Manufacturing Automation Magazine. Within, Mark discusses how laser scanning speeds up a project, reduces costs, and improves safety. Although there are challenges when adjusting laser scanning for specific projects, he writes that understanding project goals is key. Laser scanning is quickly becoming the go-to tool for reality capture—replacing the time consuming and less accurate method of manually recorded field measurements and ultimately creating an incredibly realistic and detailed 3D model. The article dives deeper into insights and benefits of using this innovative technology.  Continue Reading →

SPAR 3D Article: “How Accurate is the Marketing of Accuracy in the Reality Capture World?”

Tony Sabat, BIM / CAD Technical Specialist at SSOE, explains in this article featured on the SPAR 3D blog how the rise of reality capture has opened up the market to more inexpensive, easier-to-use hardware, resulting in many new professionals using a technology with which they are unfamiliar. This is where the issue of marketing tactics comes in, as users heavily relay on the accuracy claims—more specifically, the percentage of accuracy statements made by the manufacturer. Tony goes on to explain how these numbers can be misleading and the importance of educating yourself before making a purchase. Continue Reading →

AEC Next Article: “Could Blockchain be the Missing Link for the AEC / Built World Industry?”

Tony Sabat, BIM / CAD Technical Specialist at SSOE, examines whether blockchain is just hype or something more in this AEC Next article. As the industry prepares for a boom in disruption and innovation, the term blockchain—described in the article as an “open distributed ledger that can record transactions between two parties efficiently and in a verifiable and permanent way”—comes up repeatedly. With transparency built into the technology, Tony explores what blockchain could mean to the AEC industry and built world. Continue Reading →